Across Time, Space, Perspective, and between Languages: A review of Dirce Waltrick do Amarante’s Minha Pequena Irlanda with illustrations by Sérgio Medeiros, edited by Jùlio César Ramos

[Available at Amazon US books in Kindle download. $2.99. Portuguese and English translations in the single volume. Cultura e Barbárie, 2021]

Coarse gossip from a washerwoman on Dublin’s River Liffey’s near shore at Chapleizod echos across time and space. The message, somewhat altered by the wind and the gulls’ commentary, wafts across a short distance and is heard on the far side of the Triestine Grand Canal as a love song. The young woman strains to hear the gossip about her love. She has willingly been carried off across Europe and back again like a match lit on a speeding train. She was once a Hotel Chamber Maid herself and now hears the words as a love song from her absent love, the greatest bard of every ancient and modern century. She hears the message in all nations, all languages, and at all times.

This is the Cubist and perhaps Futurist view offered to readers and audiences in Minha Pequena Irlanda also translated from the Portuguese into English in the volume as My Little Ireland

Dirce Waltrick do Amarante’s one-act play overlays Finnegans Wake Chapter Eight ageless but viconian-pegged bawdy gossip with the most personal, sexual but also confessional letters of the Joyce-Barnacle lovers, as off-stage readings cover on-stage enactment.

This innovative theatrical piece is buoyant enough to raise spirits and carry its audience from the apparent to the quantum, from place to place, time to time, river to rock, love to loin, and fiction to fact, bending Relativity by blending James Joyce, Nora’s lover with James Joyce, ALP’s author. It also marries evolutionary humanity with the emergence of Einstein’s miracle year of 1905.

 I appreciated the comparative perspectives of this play with Cubism. If you wonder at the shattered images of William Carlos Williams’ poems, the movie Momento, or if you recognize the nonlinear ways of modern life,  Minha Pequena Irlanda might also intrigue you. Those who just enjoy Joyce, you should sample this melding of art and life bent by the curve of Relativity and lovers’ perception.